San Francisco bans bottled water. Singapore had BETTER NOT follow suit. I will get dehydrated!

March 12, 2014 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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I just learnt than San Francisco banned bottled water! This is crazy! This is absurd! (See here)

Outside on a hot day, where will I get my hydration? I cannot be expected to go to the toilet and drink from a dirty tap, can I? The only way I can get my hydration will be to purchase expensive soft drinks, and I will be taking in loads of sugar and artificial flavorings, not to mention taking a toll on my kidneys and liver!

If you ban bottled water, then why aren’t you banning soft drinks that come in aluminium cans and plastic bottles? Aren’t they also unfriendly to the environment? Why ban bottled water but not aluminium and plastic soft drinks? WHY WHY WHY????????

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Greed without compassion: How the PAP government exploits Singaporeans economically

February 25, 2014 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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(EDITORIAL POLICY: This article may NOT be reproduced on any blog or website, but link-backs or SNIPPETS with FULL attribution to this site are welcome and appreciated.)

Written by Ng E-Jay
25 February 2014

Yesterday, we read the sad news in the Straits Times (Breaking News, 24 Feb) that Some kidney patients had refused treatment and had choose to die.

According to the article, some patients are forced to forgo dialysis because they cannot afford it.

For instance, out of the 24 patients at the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) who had declined dialysis treatment in 2011, two were denied treatment because their families refused to bear the cost, and another four turned down the procedure because they did not want to be a burden to their families. Yet another six rejected the treatment because they felt it was too expensive.

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Mind the Cracks

February 7, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

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By Dr Wong Wee Nam

On 28th January 2014, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told the students attending the NTU Students’ Union Ministerial Forum that Singaporeans need to be united and cohesive, with a common purpose and a common goal to make Singapore better. There is nothing profound in this statement and anyone with a bit of commonsense will not disagree with Mr Lee.

There is no doubt the world will change in the next 50 years in ways that we cannot imagine. His reassurances were: “We need to educate our students better, with knowledge and skills for the future, with values and good character to deal with life’s uncertainties.”

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PAP government should be fined for every major administrative lapse

January 10, 2014 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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Written by Ng E-Jay
10 January 2014

No thanks to the PAP government, Singapore has over the years developed a notorious reputation for being a “Fine City” — a city where people are slapped with financial penalties for a wide range of anti-social behaviour including chewing gum, spitting, and littering. To be sure, society must evolve to embrace good conduct and good manners. Let me state categorically that I support the punishment of people who repeatedly indulge in crass or unhygienic practices.

However, the high-handedness of the PAP government has created a negative image of Singapore. People know Singapore for being a tightly-controlled authoritarian nation, even if they have benefitted from the economic fruits our country has produced. People still call Singapore a “nanny state” even if our economic growth has made many of the elite immensely rich (the lower income have NOT enjoyed our economic prosperity). There is the pervasive, unshakable sense that underlying all the wealth and glitz associated with Singapore, crude and backward authoritarianism and oppression is still used by the ruling party to keep the populace in line as if we were but a bunch of farm animals.

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Two encouraging indicators of the potency of civil activism

January 9, 2014 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Update: SADPC, Second Chances and Think Centre are anti-Death penalty groups, not just anti-Mandatory death penalty. (Thanks, Rachel Zeng)

(EDITORIAL POLICY: This article may NOT be reproduced on any blog or website, but link-backs or SNIPPETS with FULL attribution to this site are welcome and appreciated.)

Written by Ng E-Jay
09 January 2014

Recently, there have been two encouraging indicators of the potency of civil activism. The first is the case of Mr Yong Vui Kong, a Malaysian man who had been convicted in Singapore for drug trafficking in the year 2008 and originally sentenced to death.

In 2013, after years of vigorous and tireless campaigning by anti-mandatory death penalty activists, the law was amended to allow for drug mules who were not ringleaders and who had cooperated substantially with the authorities to be granted an exemption from the death penalty. The same year in September, Mr Yong received a Certificate of Cooperation from the Public Prosecutor, and his life was finally spared in November, when Justice Choo Han Teck returned a verdict that reversed Yong’s death sentence.

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Global economic momentum improving, but don’t ignore disconnect between stocks and Doctor Copper

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Global economic momentum is improving and looks set to surprise on the upside in 2014. However, Doctor Copper should not be ignored. Copper has frequently been dubbed the metal “with a Ph.D. in economics” for its uncanny ability at forecasting the global economic cycle. When the global economy expands, industrial output increases and demand for copper pushes its price up. The converse happens when the global economy contracts. Global stock prices have anticipated this favourable state of affairs and have priced in much of 2014′s growth potential.

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U.S. stock market: due for a correction

Regardless of how the economy performs this year, I suspect the U.S. stock market is due for a correction, perhaps as soon as the first quarter of 2014. Sentiment is very bullish and fund managers have piled into the market en masse to avoid under-performing their peers or their benchmarks. People generally believe the Federal Reserve has managed to rescue the economy. The market has moved straight up for one year with at most very shallow pullbacks. I believe the time is ripe for the market to rattle some nerves.

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Will 2014 be a decisive year for the United States regarding Middle Eastern affairs?

January 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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According to STRATFOR, the year 2014 might be a decisive year for the U.S. in its involvement in Middle Eastern geopolitics.

STRATFOR’s latest geopolitical diary makes the case that working toward a nuclear settlement with Iran will take centre stage in U.S. strategy, with other hot spots like Syria and Israel/Palestine playing a peripheral but supportive role.

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PAP’s Battle Cry

December 21, 2013 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics, Dr Wong Wee Nam 

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By Dr Wong Wee Nam
20 December 2013

The PAP is in a combative mood. In the party convention held on 8th December 2013, Mr Chan Chun Sing, its organising secretary, set the tone when he declared the PAP must “continuously and strenuously defend the common space for people to speak up, because if it does not, then others will occupy the space and make them irrelevant.”

In the style of Winston Churchill’s famous World War II speech, he said, “We must not concede the space — physical or cyber. We will have to learn from the 1960’s generation of PAP pioneers — to fight to get our message across at every corner — every street corner, every cyberspace corner, be it in the mass media or social media. We will have to do battle everywhere as necessary.”

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The tragic irony of MDA’s licensing framework

December 11, 2013 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

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(EDITORIAL POLICY: This article may NOT be reproduced on any blog or website, but link-backs or SNIPPETS with FULL attribution to this site are welcome and appreciated.)

Written by Ng E-Jay
11 December 2013

Barely a few weeks ago, PM Lee Hsien Loong said that we need to build secure and responsible online spaces to encourage constructive exchange of views among Singaporeans. The tragic irony is that MDA’s licensing framework has achieved the opposite effect.

Yesterday, the Breakfast Network, an online news and commentary portal that was launched several months ago, announced that they had to shut down their operations due to the licensing demands of the Media Development Authority. Although the Breakfast Network will continue to post articles on their Facebook page, their inability to conform to MDA’s onerous and stifling licensing regime has effectively gagged them.

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